Tilos, a small and quiet island in the Dodecanese, mesmerizes the visitor with its original atmosphere and unspoilt nature. “As the tongue starts reciting the special beauty” of the island, to paraphrase a traditional song, we understand why it has been a source of inspiration for lyrical poets and painters. So, where is Tilos, how to get there, things to do and see, what to do in Tilos, beaches and villages, where to stay, hotels and accommodation and more.
Tilos is a tiny island of Dodecanese, located between Kos and Rhodes. Away from mass tourism, Tilos island is an alternative destination with secluded beaches and small villages. Although it has few tourist facilities, they are enough to cater for the limited number of visitors. Livadia is the port of the island and the most tourist place. However, the most interesting place is Mikro Chorio, a ghost village with abandoned buildings. The beaches of Tilos Greece are mostly unorganized and ideal for total privacy. Some of them are also naturist places and they can be accessed on foot or with the small local bus. The island can be visited for holidays or as a day trip from another Dodecanese island.
Various herbs and flowers grow on its mountainous, yet lush, elevations, hills and valleys with flowing springs, adding heady aromas to the air. A refuge for rare bird species, with abundant sea life, it constitutes an eco-park protected by international treaties.
The culture of Tilos has also left its mark on time with Byzantine monuments, medieval castles, caves, churches and rare iconography. The locals, sensitized and open minded, play an extremely active role in the preservation of their cultural and natural heritage. They are hospitable and warm to visitors, willing to give you any information on Tilos you want, as they want your stay on the island to be unforgettable. With connecting ferries from Pireaus, Kos and Rhodes, Tilos awaits your arrival. Its magic assails your senses. Gazing out to sea, you’ll experience a floating sensation; the beginning of a voyage towards the Aegean infinity.
Where is Tilos
Tilos is one of the most green islands of the Dodecanese islands of Greece, is located near to Rhodes. The island of Tilos is part of the Greek Dodecanese islands and it is situated 65 kilometer north west of the larger island of Rhodes, in between Kos and Rhodes.
How to get to Tilos
There is no airport on the small island of Tilos. The closest airports are found in Rhodes and Kos, which are connected to Tilos by daily ferry. The airports of Rhodes and Kos receive domestic flights from Athens, charters and direct international flights from European and Mediterranean countries.
Ferries to Tilos run from the port of Piraeus in Athens 3 times a week. As the distance is large, the trip takes about 17 hours. This is why most visitors choose to fly to Kos or Rhodes and take the ferry to Tilos from there, as the trip is shorter (1-2 hours). Ferries also connect Tilos with other islands of Dodecanese, including Simi, Leros and Patmos.
Travel guide to Tilos, Greece
A place totally off the beaten track, Tilos island in Dodecanese has totally secluded atmosphere and nice beaches. This is a place for alternative holidays, as free camping and nudism are pretty popular there. Almost all activities in Tilos are concentrated in Livadia, the port village, where most studios, taverns and mini-markets are found. In the centre of the island is an old, abandoned village called Mikro Chorio. Holidays in Tilos can be combined with other islands like Kos, Rhodes or Nisyros.
Things to do and see in Tilos
It is the capital of the island with authentic Aegean architecture. Visit the Paleontological Museum, exhibiting findings from the Cave of Harkadio with the bones of dwarf elephants and the church of Taxiarhis with the impressive crossed domes. Follow the path that leads to the Castle of the Knights at the top of the hill. The amazing view will reward your stamina and resolve.
This is the harbor of the island with numerous rooms for rent, taverns and cafeterias. The beach of the hamlet is large with pebbles, salt cedars and crystal clear waters. It spreads all the way to Agios Stefanos, which used to be the harbor in medieval times. The church of Agios Nikolaos is also well worth a visit.
The Monastery of Agios Panteleimon
This historic monastery, dating from the 15th century, is one of the most important sights of the island. It overlooks the sea from the hillside, in a location of exceptional natural beauty. Admire the carved wood icon screen and magnificent frescos of the Almighty on the dome. Cool down in the shade provided by the cypress, plane and walnut trees in the courtyard of the Monastery. In memory of the Saint, there is a three-day celebration in July with pilgrims arriving from all over the Dodecanese.
What to do in Tilos
Built in the 15th century on the hills above Livadia, it was abandoned by its residents during World War II. Today in this ghost village, the walls of the houses still stand and their arrangement is a testament to quite a high level of town-planning that originally went into the hamlet. The domed church of Agia Zoni, built in 1861, is maintained in very good condition. If you visit the village by night, you can enjoy a drink in the single bar under the silver moon.
Touring the island requires exploration along its footpaths. If you follow them, you will find yourselves at the heart of the nature of Tilos. You will see fertile valleys with abundant crops and wild flowers, cypress, oak and almond trees. You may come across partridges well accustomed to human company since hunting is forbidden on Tilos. Other paths will take you to beaches inaccessible by car. Whatever trail you follow, you will enjoy the serenity of nature.
Villages of Tilos
Tilos has two main villages: Megalo Chorio, the capital, and Livadia, the port of the island, which is also the most tourist advanced area on the island. Mikro Horio was inhabited till the 1960s but now it is abandoned.
- Agios Antonios, with distinctive palms, salt cedars and a chapel, is a beautiful lattice work beach.
- Eristos is the most popular beach on the island with golden sand and cool, blue waters.
- Plaka, in Agios Antonios bay, is special due to the eucalyptus trees and the peacocks parading around showing off their colourful plumage.
- Lethra is a small, secluded pebbly beach with calm, clear waters.
- Finally, Skafi, Tholos and Agios Sergios can be reached by caique from Livadia. For Skafi, in particular, there is a footpath.
Beaches of Tilos
Most beaches in Tilos are quiet and unorganized. The only organized beach is Livadia beach, close to the main harbor of the island. The other Tilos beaches are spread all over the island and provide an excellent setting for some peaceful time. Tilos beaches never get crowded, as the island keeps a low profile in tourism. You will find below a list with the best beaches in Tilos island.
List of all beaches in Tilos, Greece
- Livadia beach (Saint Stephan), map
- Eristos beach, map
- Agios Antonios beach, map
- Plaka beach, map
- Lethra beach, map
Where to stay in Tilos
Tilos Hotels: Look and search island of Tilos hotels, accommodation, rooms, apartments, studios and pensions.
- Sunrise Apartments, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Spiros Apartments, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Michalis Studios, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Ellibay, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Irinoula Apartments, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Pavlos Rooms, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Kleopatra’s Rooms, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Hotel Eleni Beach, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Dream Island Hotel, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Georgias Rooms, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com